Parts of healthcare reform go into effect

Sept. 23, 2010 at 4:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- All provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be in effect by 2014, but parts went into effect Thursday, U.S. officials said.

A statement by the Department of Health and Human Services says as of Thursday, health insurers will no longer be able to:

-- Deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Health plans cannot limit or deny benefits or deny coverage for a child younger than age 19 because he or she has a pre-existing condition like asthma.

-- Put lifetime limits on benefits. Insurance plans can no longer put a lifetime dollar limit on the benefits of people with costly conditions like cancer.

-- Cancel a policy solely because a policyholder or his or her employer made an honest mistake on an insurance application.

-- Deny claims without a chance for appeal, which can include an independent reviewer.

Those with health insurance will be able to:

-- Receive cost-free preventive services such as screening for breast cancer, vaccinations and counseling without any out-of-pocket costs.

-- Keep children on their health insurance plan until age 26.

-- Choose a primary care doctor, obstetrician/gynecologist and pediatrician from the health plan's provider network.

-- Use the nearest emergency room without penalty or prior approval.

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